June 17, 2009

"Sadly, and to my horror, I am divorcing."

"This was a 20-year partnership. My husband is a good man, though he did travel 20 weeks a year for work. I am a 47-year-old woman whose commitment to monogamy, at the very end, came unglued. This turn of events was a surprise. I don’t generally even enjoy men; I had an entirely manageable life and planned to go to my grave taking with me, as I do most nights to my bed, a glass of merlot and a good book. Cataclysmically changed, I disclosed everything. We cried, we rent our hair, we bewailed the fate of our children. And yet at the end of the day — literally during a five o’clock counseling appointment, as the golden late-afternoon sunlight spilled over the wall of Balinese masks — when given the final choice by our longtime family therapist, who stands in as our shaman, mother, or priest, I realized … no. Heart-shattering as this moment was — a gravestone sunk down on two decades of history — I would not be able to replace the romantic memory of my fellow transgressor with the more suitable image of my husband, which is what it would take in modern-therapy terms to knit our family’s domestic construct back together. In women’s-magazine parlance, I did not have the strength to 'work on' falling in love again in my marriage. And as Laura Kipnis railed in Against Love, and as everyone knows, Good relationships take work."

Read the whole thing. Sandra Tsing Loh is getting to the question: "Why do we still insist on marriage... isn’t the idea of lifelong marriage obsolete?"

Here's the accompanying — and perversely light-hearted — video.

And here's her "final piece of advice":
[A]void marriage — or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.
There's something confusing about the structure of that sentence. What does "for... love" refer to? The reason for marrying or the reason for breaking up? She does say that she had an affair. Did she leave in absurd pursuit of love or was the original idea of marrying foolish?

Also, I detect a contradictory message in that advice. "Or you too may suffer..." Don't we — many of us, most of us — read that and think: Yes, bring on the emotions. I know that is what is involved, and I say "yes" to all that. You could just as well have said avoid life — or you too may suffer. But we revolt against the serenity of death.

I say that, and yet, for many years, for more than 20 years, I choose the serenity of the partnerless life. Still, if you ask me today, my "final piece of advice" is: When you think of what you might lose if you do something, remember to take account of what you might lose if you don't do it.

137 comments:

Jim said...

There's a great deal of hubris involved here. She is essentially saying: if I couldn't make it last a lifetime, then abandon hope because it just isn't possible.

The breathtaking arrogance required to even think such a thing - let alone put it down in print for all the world to see - is breathtaking.

My parents are still married. They go out on double dates with another couple every weekend. They hold hands. They kiss. Each would be very much lost without the other. They are still in love.

While my wife and I have nowhere near the tenure of my parents, we have the same aspirations and our relationship shows no signs of cracks around the edges thus far.

But is everyone capable of making a partnership last? I would answer that in the negative. Far too many are too selfish to ever bite their tongue at a minor inconvenience from their mate. Too self-absorbed to understand when they need to put aside their own needs temporarily to tend to the needs of another. Too consumed with their own demons to ever make an effective partner to anyone.

Is this woman one of these people? Who knows? But she's certainly no one to tell anyone else that they aren't or shouldn't strive to not be another one of "them."

traditionalguy said...

That is one great mid-life crisis. So she needs more excitement of youth before she is finally over the hill. Couldn't her shaman/counselor get her to see that she is doing a lot of damage to herself and others just to prove she can do it.

Will Cate said...

Quite right, Jim. The idea of life-long marriage is obsolete in her life, but not the lives of millions of other people. My wife and I are every bit as in love as we were 29 years ago in college. Perhaps even more so.

Salamandyr said...

I realize that there will always be a certain amount of arrogance on display in pieces of this sort, but I can't help but be taken aback by it.

She, the adulterer, says, in essence, that she couldn't be bothered to maintain her relationship because her husband just didn't measure up.

I can't help but feel, that for all the man's sense of loss now, he's a bit better off.

MadisonMan said...

I'd be interested in reading her husband's take on things.

Arturius said...

I don’t generally even enjoy men


After looking at her I can't say that I'm the least bit surprised.

holdfast said...

Waaaaahhh! I can't have a perfect marriage / make my marriage last, so clearly the whole institution is dated and irrelevant. Narcissistic much?

Society has changed - I don't really think we expect that all marriages will last for the 60+ years of my grandparents until death really does do you part. Sure that may be the ideal, but you can still have a pretty good life even if you can't live the ideal - after all, a [wo]man's reach should exceed his/her grasp.

If a couple can have a fulfilling marriage, raise a couple of good kids, and then find that later in life they have to go their own ways, well, that's not so bad as long as they don't end up broke as a result. We are living longer, and that trend will only accelerate - so maybe you can have what, in past times, would have been two lifetimes of experiences in one actual life.

This woman is just another self-absorbed boomer - if marriage doesn't work for her then it can't work and should be abolished or at least consigned to irrelevance.

Florida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Florida said...

I have a piece of advice for her men readers: Avoid whores.

This woman goes on for 1500 words and never says: "I cheated."

Her marriage isn't ending (passively).

She murdered it.

I hope her children are embarrassed that she is their mother.

MayBee said...

Sandra Tsing Loh gets on my every last nerve.

After listening to her on NPR for the first time, my son turned to me and said "That woman talks like she's much more clever than she is".

I think that sums her up perfectly.

jimbino said...

There's a vast "overconsumption" of marriage in the USA, just as there is of healthcare, because government tax policy vastly favors it. There are countries where you do not get big tax breaks just for marrying and breeding.

EDH said...

Her written piece has a sentimental and reflective tone of shared pain and loss.

Her video piece was, as you say, "perversely light hearted."

Maybe that's how it was for her husband. It took a while for an unguarded moment to make him realize that he married a phoney bitch on wheels.

Fred4Pres said...

I will not be that harsh to her, marriage is hard work. We all have our emotional ups and downs. Perhaps divorce is the best answer for her (and her husband). But she does seem a tad self absorbed, a bit too needy, and she probably is not ready for any relationship for the foreseeable future.

In the interim, watch the wine and dove bars.

Treacle said...

Sandra and Caitlin Flanagan are my favorite writers at the Atlantic (well, were: Megan McArdle is blowing them all away now). This is the first piece by Sandra that I didn't like (and actually hate). I know it's standard operating procedure to use book reviews as a pretext to talk generically about over-arching topics. But this is just over the top: it's an excuse for Sandra to drag her imploded marriage into the magazine.
Worst of all, it's completely uninteresting. There's no insight - just "I fucked some guy on the side and so now it's over with my husband". I know considerably more about Sandra's crumbling personal life and virtually nothing about the books she was purportedly reviewing. But then, the most recent issue of the Atlantic pretty much just sucked overall anyway.

OldGrouchy said...

Shaman? WTF did the Shaman do for that so-called marriage? Did the Shaman dance around the couple and sprinkle magic dust or create sand drawings or in-chant chants to whatever the Shaman worshiped!

Lastly, did President Obama dictate the use of the Shaman and why didn't that usage result in a long term and loving marriage? Oops, will the couple get a refund or rebate because of
the "government's" failure to protect them?

Would the use of a voodoo doll been more successful!

OldGrouchy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holdfast said...

“Ron only goes as far as the den,” Ellen says. “He has his Internet porn bookmarked on the computer.”

“Ian has his Cook’s Illustrated,” Rachel adds. “And his—his men’s online fennel club.”

At least Ron is just a middle-aged schlub - Ian is a sexless metero. He's like the Katy Perry song "You're so gay and you don't even like boys."

Roger Sweeny said...

When you think of what you might lose if you do something, remember to take account of what you might lose if you don't do it.

This is the idea of "opportunity costs," the absolute bedrock of economics. Of course, when you add uncertainty, the bedrock gets pretty shaky.

William said...

I was just reading a book about the divine right of kings. Back in the day there was an enormous amount of debate about whether the annointment of the king by the bishop was was essential or extraneous to his divine right. Very smart people parsed the meaning of annointment in order to illuminate the rational laws behind divine right. As things worked out, those monarchies that survived modelled themselves on the limited rights of the English kings. The English monarchs had limited rights because they were, in fact, rather limited people. A craftier king than King John would not have signed the Magna Carta. King Charles lost his head during budget negotiations. King George found it difficult to preside over council meetings due to the fact that he could not speak English.....The endurance and success of the English monarchy was not due to their adherence to some abstract principle but rather to happenstance. Thus so with marriage. A lasting marriage depends on your kid not dying in a car accident, your husband not having a secretary with daddy issues who looks like Scarlett Johansen, your wife not thinking that cocaine is a party substance, etc. etc. There is no moral or rational principle that this story illuminates. It is all just happenstance.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

My parents have been married for 55 years this year. They are, for the most part, happy as can be. They go everywhere together.

I still think they do it too.

When I was home I think I heard them screwing.

Sofa King said...

...and people wonder why men avoid marriage these days.

kynefski said...

I couldn't get past the notion that I was reading fiction of a particularly banal sort. Come to think of it, this sort of self-account calls to mind the old Lou Reed line.

People get all emotional, sometimes they don't act rational, you know it's like they think they're on TV.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

My parents are in good shape too.

My mom's tits haven't sagged and my dad told me he can still get it up-without Viagra.

Not bad. They are 75 years old.

Cabbage said...

Love is not something that happens between two people. Love is a conscious act by one person towards another.

The point of marriage is not to bond two people who happen to have fallen in love. It is a commitment by two people to each act with love, over the remainder of their lives, towards the other person.

Love is difficult because it is literally the death of one's self. It takes work to love. Marriage is blamed because today's world really only expects an individual to love their spouse. We've begun to think that marriage is the difficult part -- perhaps everyone has Sarte in the back of their minds -- when love is the true challenge. Marriage is simply an institution to help us love; first one person, then onto God and Man.

Dave said...

Warrants mentioning that she's obviously pretty ticked off about how much her husband travels.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

My dad always said my sisters got their racks from my mom and I got my hog from him.

One of my sisters had a titectempy because her titties were too big.

Isn't that sweet?

Are tit size and hog size genetic?

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I also think I got my sexual prowess from my dad.

He was really hot when he was young and fooled around constantly, until he was around 60.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

When I was younger my gay friends all wanted to do my dad.

somecamerunning said...

Cue the world's tiniest violin, as they say. What we should really mourn is the fact that The Atlantic was entirely happy to pay good money for such a lot of puling twaddle.

Florida said...

"marriage is hard work."

I agree, marriage is hard work.

Whoring, however, is really easy. Just lay back and spread 'em. That's what is wrong with this chick. She's making out like her being a run of the mill slut has nothing to do with her marriage crumbling.

If you're unhappy in your marriage, it's easy to not cheat. If you feel the need, why just walk into any courthouse and sign a few papers and it's over with. He'll even be forced to pay you alimony and child support while you debase yourself.

Then go slut yourself out all you want.

It's pathetically easy to be monogamous.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I have a pretty good size hog too which I am grateful for but I don't know if I can credit this to genes.

The circumcision was a success as I have a nice mushroom head. The length, gerth, and ratio of stem to head are well proportioned. I am more of a grower though and not much of a shower. I wish it was a little longer when soft. The color is a nice sweet pink with a darker color pink for a head. No unsightly pubes on my stalk. Balls hang nice and are well balanced with left ball hanging lower than right, natch. Not many pubes on my balls, easy to shave off in one clip. I am able to stay hard for long periods of time without any help. When I blow I shoot a nice load and it does shoot. No drippling here. I can shoot up to my chest with usually two or three jugs of splew.


How are you?

Joseph said...

When you think of what you might lose if you do something, remember to take account of what you might lose if you don't do it.



Absolutely. You get heartache and frustration and challenge and anger and hurt but those things are important parts of a life well lived. Not to mention the joy and opportunity you might miss if you don't try.

Maguro said...

Warrants mentioning that she's obviously pretty ticked off about how much her husband travels.

Maybe he volunteered for a lot of road trips because his wife was an annoying, pretentious pain in the ass.

Jason said...

This is a tremendously self-absorbed woman. Not a lick about the impact of her infidelity on her children.

Judging from the overuse of parenthetical phrases and hyphens, she's also not a very disciplined writer. Her piece cries out for an editor. I think it goes back to that self-absorbed quality.

She seems like the kind of person who would write her own Wikipedia entry.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Would the use of a voodoo doll been more successful!

Maybe not, but I'll bet it would have been a lot more fun.

Please... don't call her a boomer. She is too young. She is a self absorbed twit raised by boomers.

Jason said...

Want to see a REAL train wreck? Here's her piece called "She's Just Not That Into You."

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200703/loh-libido

I guess the Atlantic editors pay by the word.

Jean said...

My husband and I will be married 45 years in September. He is my best friend and my lover. I couldn't see my life with anyone else. I dated a lot when I was young and had serious relationships but never made love with anyone but him and I am glad. The first time I saw him and met him, I fell in love with him - we were married four and a half months later because we didn't want to be apart. We are both subborn and made a commitment when we said our vows before God that we would last. We've had troubles big and small and still do - we lost a son after caring for him in our home after an accident causing him to have severe brain damage, we raised a grandson of our daughter who is mentally disabled, we have a son and granddaughter living with us now, we've cared for our parents and we care for each other. We were blessed with a lot of love but our first devotion is to God and our faith, sense of humor is second on our list. Compromise is not always 50/50 sometimes its 30/70 - you need to learn when to give in and which one's needs is greater. It is worth it in the end, the give and take. We hold hands all the time and he says it is still sexy to him. We are not a gorgeous "looking" couple, we're over the hill and retired and I love having him around the house.

It isn't easy holding it together today for the younger couples, I believe there are more temptations and its easier to get out of the commitment. I think the love and commitment has to be stronger and deeper. It's worth it, really it is!

Jason said...

This entry from her Wiki page is precious:

"Tsing Loh gained some national notoriety when KCRW cancelled her weekly radio commentary, The Loh Life after an engineer neglected to bleep her on-air utterance of the word "fuck" during an essay on knitting that aired on 22 February 2004."

Wow. SHE says "fuck" on the air, and then blames the engineer for losing her show.

Lovely woman. Raised in Malibu, college in Santa Monica. What's not to love?

Cedarford said...

There is that timeless saying -

"Better to have loved and lost, than have never loved at all."

================

Perhaps though, we have recklessly added to the "risk perception" people have of marriage.

We tell everyone of horrific lawyer expenses and years of battle are possibilities - if it fails.
That any domestic fight with 2 people committed to live in the same house, vs. impregnate the gal and walk away free - may end up with one or both parties hammered with near-felony level criminal charges.
That Family Court is incredibly biased towards woman and men are indeed discardable as fathers except for their wallets..

kalmia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Florida said...

"Wow. SHE says "fuck" on the air ..."

It's even worse than that.

She said "fuck" on the air - in an essay about knitting.

About KNITTING!

What a maroon.

Randy said...

I've enjoyed listening to podcasts of Loh's humorous radio program for many years. Her Atlantic piece is as unfortunate as it is uninteresting.

bagoh20 said...

"When you think of what you might lose if you do something, remember to take account of what you might lose if you don't do it."

Agreed, but there are certainly lost opportunities either way.
-
What's important is to live the life you are in right now with passion and devour it's blessings. You may be forced at some point to live the other due to love or loss, but then live that one deeply as well. The most important choice we make is how we see what we have. Wanting the other life at the expense of the current one is the failing of the human condition for most people.

You may never get another chance to be single or married, so don't waste this one.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

I think this woman may have a hard time replacing her husband at 47. Men her age will want a younger better looking model. I love how she "bewailed the fate of our children". I don't know, how about closing your legs for a few years until your children are raised so they can have a stable home. That seems like a pretty good idea to me.

Some day this woman will be old and alone and it will be everyone else's fault.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

She said "fuck" on the air - in an essay about knitting.

About KNITTING!

What a maroon.

WELL.....I can tell that YOU don't knit and have never dropped a stitch in an Aran Isle pattern!!!

:-D

** corrected for spelling /doh

SteveR said...

Please don't use love as an excuse, you were looking for sex. You may have thought it was romantic but in the end you were just looking for an excuse.

There are two sides to every story and your side, for sure, is looking very immature.

I'll gladly ignore your advice about marriage. I'm trying to survive far worse circumstances than your pathetic life because love is worth the work.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

Is her name Sandra Sling Low?

TMink said...

Arturius beat me to it.

Note to self: Never marry someone who does not like people like me.

Trey

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I do wish my ass wasn't as hairy though. I don't have hair much on my arms or legs or chest or back but I do have it on my ass.

It requires a once every two months crack wax.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I like my crack after it gets waxed.

There is always wax remnants in my hole and I enjoy picking them out and peeling them out of my hole. Some of the wax has an impression of my pucker on it. The sensation of peeling the wax off my pucker is titillating.

Joe said...

What a bizarre article. After reading other articles written by her, I got the distinct feeling that she was being inadvertently honest at the start of this article: her marriage ended because she was too lazy to make it work. I get the feeling that she had an affair because it was easier than being romantic and passionate with her husband. This is a woman who wanted all the benefits of a relationship without any of the responsibilities.

bagoh20 said...

Some writers manage to paint a picture that jumps right out at ya.

John Althouse Cohen said...

“Ian has his Cook’s Illustrated,” Rachel adds. “And his—his men’s online fennel club.”

At least Ron is just a middle-aged schlub - Ian is a sexless metero.


Uh oh, I guess I'm not a real man. The gender police said so. Are there any other foods I should avoid?

Kirk Parker said...

Doesn't this need a "The Atlantic is like the New York Times" label?

And what Cabbage said--in fact it's worth re-reading until it really sinks in. I would just add that understanding the difference between "attraction" and "love" would alleviate a lot of our issues in this area.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

My wife has sworn while knitting. Usually just before ripping out a bunch of rows.

Lem said...

Years ago I red The Erotic Silence of the American Wife.

This story is typical of what that book is about.

martha said...

Sandra Tsing Loh should read the book instapundit just got in the mail:

Why Loyalty Matters: The Groundbreaking Approach to Rediscovering Happiness, Meaning and Lasting Fulfillment in Your Life and Work.

Rose said...

So if you love your dog, and feel pain when it dies, you should never ever get another dog?

Because divorce is painful, you should never marry?

Maybe you(we) should never have friends either.

Fred4Pres said...

This is remotely connected in some way to this matter:

"Like any other behavior that doesn't lead directly to reproduction - such as aggression or altruism - same-sex behavior can have evolutionary consequences that are just now beginning to be considered," Bailey said. "For example, male-male copulations in locusts can be costly for the mounted male" and this cost may put evolutionary pressure on the locusts, he said. As a result, a larger number of males may secrete a particular chemical that discourages the mounting behavior, he added.



Gay Pride Week Science! But if they are adult consenting grasshoppers, how could male-male copulations in locusts can be costly for the mounted male?

Titus, any thoughts?

Quayle said...

"For the justification of sins there exists false arguments, according to which there would appear to be exceptional circumstances rendering the sins not only excusable, but even necessary."
Tolstoy

"...when as self-betrayers we develop a self-justifying story, we don't merely tell ourselves a lie. We live the live. We get completely caught up in the lie, emotions and all."
Terry Warner (The Bonds that Make us Free)

"Our undistorted sense of right and wrong calls us to do right toward others, to act as love dictates. Most fundamentally, we are beings bonded to one another by love."

[But]"in self-betrayal we violate these bonds, deceive ourselves about who we really are, harden ourselves to what we feel is right, and live a lie."
Id.

So, I agree with what others here have said, the amazing thing about this woman is the size and scope of the self-justification.

It doesn't just implicate her own private life and circumstances, it is universal in its range. Marriage itself is obsolete!

Amazing.

former law student said...

What she doesn't get is that this, too, will pass. Tsing Loh is having a midlife crisis -- just like a man. A last fling before her ovaries reach retirement age. New partner sex is always going to be hotter than old partner sex, but soon enough, new partner becomes old partner, and the feelings of "This is too much WORK" and "This just isn't WORTH it" take over once more.

Maybe if she hadn't invariably taken "a glass of merlot and a good book" to bed there would have been more excitement there.

I think divorce is always a bad move if you have something real between you. Cheat on your spouse if you like, like Titus's dad. But don't throw your relationship away for the sake of some fleeting pleasure. It appears here that confession + counseling forced the issue. Counseling requires you to study your relationship, like picking all the scabs off your body. No relationship can withstand that amount of scrutiny. Just forget it and move on, say I.

Our gracious hostess was divorced and we (I) don't know why. Sometimes it is just hard to live with another person. Sometimes you have found someone who suits you better. But I strongly suspect she didn't make a change just because she had OMG sex, and she viewed another human being through a pink glow of satisfaction.

As far as Tsing Loh goes, she has been living her life in public for some years now -- in fact it is the source of her income. And she herself has gone on the road many times to do her one-woman shows about her life -- perhaps as a way of getting back at her husband.

former law student said...

The gender police said so. Are there any other foods I should avoid?

Finocchio (fennel) means sissy or gay man, so that is definitely one to avoid.

Where the heck is Trooper York?

John said...

Former Law Student,

For once I agree with you. You are exactly right, especially about relationship therapy. Picking a scap is a good metaphor.

Cabbage said...

Thanks Kirk.

Tom Jones' Prison Beeyatch said...

So all these 40 somethings are upset because they married utterly modern, egalitarian, perfect compassionate, PC half-man things that are too frigid to have sex?

Something tells me that they would have been happier had they married a bunch of flawed typical chauvinist plumbers and bus drivers.

I'm sorry. I have no sympathy for these women. Their kind made the men they married, insisted on them, and now that they have them they are unhappy. What a surprise. It's as C.S. Lewis said, we geld the stallion and bid the gelding be fruitful.

Juris Dentist said...

if you ask me today


Yeah, right. Like I'm going to ask someone who failed once and will likely fail again.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I guess I should get divorced now, since Ms. Loh couldn't make hers work, nobody can.

How self-centered can one person be?

Bad enough she has destroyed her marriage and the home of her children, Now she figures that she, as the goddess of all she surveys, is a low-lifer adulterer, everybody else should call it quits too?

Sorry, I am an adult, and can live up to my contracts, even if she can't.

Henry Buck said...

JAC -

Quiche.

Night2night said...

I had a short lived first marriage (less than a year) and remarried a few years later (than union has produced 3 children and just passed it's 25th anniversary). Yet the thought of that ill-fated first marriage, with some concurrent selfish immaturity on my part, still haunts an occasional late night musing. I could pass it off to guilt, but also remember the deep passion, happiness and heartbreaking vulnerability of that first extraordinary coupling in my life. I know who my partner is, love her and my children, yet I still remember and sometime struggle with reaching out into the darkness of the unknown guided only by the dim light of my memories. Our hearts are fragile, complex, and funny creations.

mrs whatsit said...

There's lots of wisdom in these comments, but none whatsoever in that ridiculous essay. Even the writing is terrible! All that over-the-top nonsense about "bewailing the fate of our children" (as if fate, rather than her own choices, had caused what was happening to them) and the golden sun pouring over the Balinese masks or whatever the heck that was. Bleah.

Swearing while knitting, however, is not only understandable but often essential.

paul a'barge said...

Or, maybe she's a just a tramp.

paul a'barge said...

Tsing Loh, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home.

paul a'barge said...

I'm betting that in about, oh 2 days her husband is going to be soooo relieved.

Fred4Pres said...

Tsing Loh, sour relationship,
Shakespeare was definitely wrong;
Tsing Loh, sour relationship,
I hope in the divorce I get to keep my home.

I looked over my night stand book,
And WHAT did I see,
My boring husband who is boring me,
So I had an affair to spice things up indeed,
I hope in the divorce I get to keep my home.

Thanks for the inspriration Paul!

Tibore said...

"Sadly, and to my horror, I am divorcing"

Sadly, and to my horror, you had to tell the world about it. You self absorbed (*bleep*).

holdfast said...

Blogger John Althouse Cohen said...

"Uh oh, I guess I'm not a real man. The gender police said so. Are there any other foods I should avoid?"

Dude, eat or cook anything you want - this guy is in a CLUB about just fennel? Not even herbs generally, but JUST fennel? Besides, that's just one line - that he is a sexless metero is made abundantly clear elsewhere in the article.

Ian is a documentary film maker and the authoress' husband is a musician. Both very "hip", very avante garde - but perhaps not so into the long-term marriage thing either - not as to sexual orientation, but rather as to where and how they want to spend their time.

Anyway, last piece of armchair quarterbacking - she should have gotten the nanny if she could have afforded it. Assuming whatever she does during the day constitutes work, then it would be massively exhausting to be doing that literally at the same time as child care. Just because your office is at home doesn't mean you don't need a separate headspace for working. As noted above, making a marriage work does take work - you cannot do everything all the time.

NKVD said...

Don't worry, it's all on the down Loh.

rocketeer67 said...

Uh oh, I guess I'm not a real man. The gender police said so. Are there any other foods I should avoid?

Stick with meats, the redder the better. Vegetables are good, as long as they're the kind most people could grow on their own. Avoid any lettuces except iceberg and bibb. Bread is okay, as long as you buy it - under no circumstances bake it yourself. Any dessert is okay, as long as it's either store bought or made by a woman - baking sweets is especially effete and, uh, fennel. Yeah, that's the word - fennel.

You should be good to go now.

Elliott A said...

She may say that "to my horror" she is divorcing, but it is clear she was never truly married. If you truly had love and/or respect for your partner, you would either tell them it is no longer working BEFORE you start in with another person, or if it is working, you shouldn't be able to contemplate cheating. Otherwise, you are less than human IMO.

kynefski said...

Elliot A, If you ever use the phrase less than human, please reserve it for rapists, murderers, etc. Forgive me if I seem overly sensitive, but that language really troubles me.

While I'm in the comments, I wanted to thank Cabbage for that memorable observation:

Love is not something that happens between two people. Love is a conscious act by one person towards another.

Synova said...

"My parents are still married. They go out on double dates with another couple every weekend. They hold hands. They kiss. Each would be very much lost without the other. They are still in love."

Are they "in love" or do they love each other?

I know we use the phrase "in love" but I'm convinced that the language itself is part of the problem.

One is a verb. The other a noun.

One is something you *do*... you *love*.

The other is something that you fall into or that happens to you and you find yourself *in* it.

One is about the other person.

The other is centered on yourself and your own feelings.

Maybe if we stopped saying "in love" as if it was something we were helpless about and focused more on loving, we'd be better off.

Just Lurking said...

"Why do we still insist on marriage... "

Think how many unmarried, single moms live in poverty or on public assistance. As marriage dies, ultimately the cost of child rearing becomes another responsibility of the gov't.

"...isn’t the idea of lifelong marriage obsolete?"

A lot of gay folk don't seem to think so. Civil union is not enough for them. They want the vow. The writer should ask them why they want to get married. Maybe they can give her some insight.

Freeman Hunt said...

What an obnoxious column.

Oh, and her daughters appear to be "unfazed?" What garbage. There is no such thing as, "We got divorced, but it was no big deal to the kids," thought often the kids want you to think so.

Note that almost all of the problems mentioned in the marriages would be solved by adhering to those hoary old religious standards. Who'da thunk it?

Ralph L said...

"We got divorced, but it was no big deal to the kids,"
because they're as self-absorbed as we are.

Florida said...

I just wonder if this slut was bemoaning the fate of her children when she had her ankles up around her earlobes.

Because, something tells me she doesn't really care about anyone's gratification than herself and never has.

Her husband is lucky to be rid of her.

Her children, sadly, are saddled with this pathetic excuse for a mother for the rest of their lives.

Ralph L said...

Of course it requires energy, but if a marriage is "hard work", maybe you're doing it wrong. Try some more lube.

rhhardin said...

Emotion availability varies.

Lyndie England's biographer:

'Lynndie only has two moods: bored and pissed off.'

Brent said...

I like marriage.

Married 26 years to the most fascinating woman I ever met. if we were marrooned alone on a dessert island for the rest of our lives - with some form of sustenance, of course - I would never be bored. We can argue passionately, divide our tastes and miryad interests, enjoy the company and deep relationships with many good friends and family, but the bottom line is - I would rather be with her, share experiences with her than anyone else in the world.

LiveFree said...

To the author I dedicate the song "The Dance" sung by Garth Brooks. Regretting the past is a terribly sad way to live in the present.

George said...

Hm.

Am I going to take advice from a woman who has a personal "shaman?"

No, don't think so.

nansealinks said...

year 2 through year 22 of my marriage were wonderful and full of friendship. I was deeply in love. Year 22 through 25 were spent falling apart because of distance in thoughts and actual physical presence. I divorced because the love took its course. Now he isn't even my friend anymore, and that disappoints me to no end.

I was just thinking so many people stray at the point where i said, done. I did not. I wanted to end and start anew. I still want to start anew. Should I have stayed married and just found someone else before the divorce. i would not have to have gone through the lonliness and financial hardships, finding a new home, moving apartment to apartment, going through this long period of unemployment. Who knows?

I actually thought a lawyer thought i had somebody on the side because no woman would just want out and not want the monetary rewards that so many people think that woman make off with.

Money couldn't buy me love and it couldn't buy my separation. Money matters (from outsider's legal pressuring) spoiled our friendship afterwards. I did it my way and would not be the person to ask for divorce advice because it just wouldn't pay.

UWS guy said...

I've never met a child of divorced parents that didn't get fucked up as a result.

Divorce scars children. People who get divorced while their children are young are selfish fucks.

Seriously, How hard is it to just fucking make a contract to live with someone for 18 years? You get married and make a baby? Grow the fuck up and realize you are not the most important thing any more.

divorce when the kids are grown. Selfish, selfish, cunts and fuckers.

ak said...

"It isn't easy holding it together today for the younger couples, I believe there are more temptations and its easier to get out of the commitment."

People are also growing up in the Oprah/American Idol/The Real World/My Super Sweet Sixteen culture of narcissism, where everyone deserves to be a celebrity, every thought and emotion deserves to be expressed, every opinion is equally valid, etc. That kind of childish self-absorption and idiocy is deadly for successful relationships. And it's not doing our society in general any good either.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

also, i have a close friend who inspects my hole after I get waxed just to pull out any unsightly butt hairs that may have survived the waxing.

He is the one that injects me with my roids too.

We are close like that.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

After I get a crack waxing I enjoy pulling down my pants spreading my cheeks and showing my friends my hairless pucker.

Is that so wrong?

Kev said...

Please... don't call her a boomer. She is too young. She is a self absorbed twit raised by boomers.

Agreed. Not all demographers agree that being 57 would make you a Boomer; some place the start of Generation X in 1961 instead of the oft-cited 1964. Knowing plenty of people in that demographic, I'd tend to believe that's correct.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

I have a 20th class reunion for high school this summer.

I will not be attending, thank you.

They are a bunch of buttfuckers.

Kev said...

Oops, missed my typo earlier; that should say that not everyone thinks that being *47* makes you a Boomer. 57 would qualify on all counts.

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

No One answered my question about hog size being genetic.

former law student said...

No One answered my question about hog size being genetic.

No data.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph L said...

Is that so wrong?
It is if you aren't a bottom. See red capes and bulls. Why do you care about hair back there?

Since you've done nothing to enlarge your hog, you can assume its genetic. I doubt it follows the male line always, however. The rest of you didn't, did it?

David said...

TitusIsNotHornytoday said...

My parents have been married for 55 years this year. . . .

I still think they do it too.

When I was home I think I heard them screwing.



Ah, Titus, that's so sweet. They were faking it just to make you feel good.

ricpic said...

Do people ask too much of marriage? That, for instance, marriage should solve loneliness? put it to an end? Isn't the pursuit of ultimate closeness - which must end in despair - a wrecker of marriages? There has to be an acceptance of disconnects. And an increased appreciation of a good comfort level. Quite a treasure, a good comfort level. Not all the time. Most of the time. That should suffice.

codekeyguy said...

Marriage, like friendship, requires WORK to maintain. You WORK to make it work, And if you do, it will, in almost all cases, last "till death do us part"!

Gina said...

I despair of the culture.

NTSocial said...

I don't think marriage itself should take work.

Acting like a genuine, forgiving, caring and less than completely selfish human being on the other hand is a life's work. If you're actively putting in effort on that, the marriage thing is a gimme.

Elliott A said...

@kynefski- IMO cheating on a spouse is a greater evil and animalistic behavior than any crime. It is the ultimate betrayal of the ultimate trust. It is wholly contemptible. I have no use for the practitioners of this, I want nothing to do with them. Rather than call them "less than human" I will abridge the comment to f***ing scum, although that is not fair to scum.

Roman said...

It is better to have loved and lost, than to have loved and won...

Oligonicella said...

Bronze fennel is the bomb. It's hardy as hell, grows up to Nebraska, has a nice licorice taste in cooking and gets big enough to raise dozens of Black Swallowtails on each year with no stress.

It's the bomb!

blake said...

Elliott A said...

@kynefski- IMO cheating on a spouse is a greater evil and animalistic behavior than any crime
.

And in Hell, Hitler breathes a sigh of relief.

kynefski said...

So let us close this thread with some perspective from Nevada Senator John Ensign:

Marriage recognizes the ideal of a father and mother living together to raise their children. Marriage is the cornerstone on which our society was founded. For those who say that the Constitution is so sacred that we cannot or should not adopt the Federal Marriage Amendment, I would simply point out that marriage, and the sanctity of that institution, predates the American Constitution and the founding of our nation. Marriage, as a social institution, predates every other institution on which ordered society in America has relied.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

Her husband has to travel -20 weeks- a year to support her and the children and -he- is the asshole?

peter hoh said...

When it's a female writer, she's a "whoring," "self-absorbed boomer."

Does the commentariat here get as worked up when it's Newt fooling around?

peter hoh said...

Synova at 1:54 speaks wisdom.

Beth said...

JAC, any fennel-growing tips you want to share, I'll be happy to have.

Mine grew tall this winter/spring, but the bulbs were small.

Fennel is tasty, fennel is fun, and why wouldn't any man enjoy whipping out the mandolin and shaving the fennel bulb to within a micro-millimeter of his fingertips? No derring-do in these fennel's for fruits fellows?

srfwotb said...

But you're not dead yet, so therefore, it's not final.

I've never understood this "final piece of advice" theory - like the answer you give right before you step into the grave is The Right One. No, it's right for you in the moment you give it - the same as any other.

George said...

I've never met a child of divorced parents that didn't get fucked up as a result.

Divorce scars children. People who get divorced while their children are young are selfish fucks.


From personal experience, the truth is a little more subtle than that. It is undoubtedly the case that the sweet, charming boy I was at 8 when my folks got divorced was permanently derailed from developing easily into a similar adult. For many years I was an "angry young man."

On the other hand, not all that came out of the divorce was bad. I ended up with a step-brother and step-sister that I adore. I lived in many different places--with both good and ill effects. And in the end I am happy where I am in life and who knows if that would have been the case without being a child of divorce.

All that being said, however, it is my absolute and primary goal in life to ensure that my son does not have to experience what I experienced.

Mom of two said...

I stayed married for more than 20 years to man who hit me because I didn't want to endure the kind of comments that I see here.

I thought for sure my children were better off with a father who hit their mother because at least Mom was committed to a lifelong marriage.

At the end I had an affair before I fell into a very serious clinical depression after being abused for several decades.

I wish the comments here weren't so black and white. I love marriage. I wish I could have a good one. I'm a woman in my late 40s and from what I'm reading here I should just slit my wrists and hang it up because men want younger women without baggage. And I should have been smarter in the first place about who I married.

The Europhile said...

Joseph Campbell had a philosophical take on how we westerners view relationships, he suggests, they aren't love affairs, they are ordeals....

RR Ryan said...

I'm glad one of her late friends didn't have to see this self-absorbed nonsense.

The Europhile said...

Gosh, I didn't see that comment just before my own. I sat on the board, volunteering at New Beginnings, The Shelter and Program to Eliminate Domestic Violence, in Seattle for 5 yrs.

When I quote joe campbell, it means something else entirely.

These comments, I dunno, my husband and I have partnered in business, sailed across the Atlantic aboard our sailboat and lived in several countries....whether or not a partnershp travels in miles or in the head, the ordeal can be interesting, but only if it's interesting and beneficial to both.

Gabriel Hanna said...

So let us close this thread with some perspective from Nevada Senator John Ensign:

Because if John Ensign had been PROUD of being an adulterer, instead of resigning his seat in shame; or he had thought adultery was just fine and dandy, he'd have been a better person, right?

If I meet a man who never does anything he's ashamed of, is it more likely that he is a saint, or a monster with no sense of right and wrong?

Seriously, you have a problem. John Ensign has one too, and he's trying to deal with it. You, on the other hand, are just a snarky jerk who doesn't think.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Mom of Two: I don't think anyone here is saying divorce is never justified. I don't think anyone should stay married to someone who beats them, or cheats on them.

Sandra Loh is getting divorced because she was bored with her husband and she cheated. Her friend is getting divorced because she got the perfect domestic husband her generation claimed they wanted, and found out that he bores her.

It's a little different. You leaving your husband was most likely the best thing you could have done. But these people are self-absorbed jerks who don't seem to realize that you nobody can get everything they want.

Ann Althouse said...

"'m a woman in my late 40s and from what I'm reading here I should just slit my wrists and hang it up because men want younger women without baggage. And I should have been smarter in the first place about who I married."

Hey, this blog is written by a 58-year-old woman who is about to get married for the second time -- to a 55-year-old man. Most people here know that. It's been a major theme on this blog.

Ann Althouse said...

"'m a woman in my late 40s and from what I'm reading here I should just slit my wrists and hang it up because men want younger women without baggage. And I should have been smarter in the first place about who I married."

Hey, this blog is written by a 58-year-old woman who is about to get married for the second time -- to a 55-year-old man. Most people here know that. It's been a major theme on this blog.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"peter hoh said...

When it's a female writer, she's a 'whoring,' 'self-absorbed boomer.'

Does the commentariat here get as worked up when it's Newt fooling around?"

Did Newt write a bunch of self-justifying hoohah about his fooling around?

Night2night said...

@Mom of two: FWIW I think you did what you believed was right and I think you did it understanding the consequences. That simple expression of love for your children makes you sound lovely and I find it hard to believe there is not another soul out there who would treasure you in the manner you deserve. We all need some measure of grace to leaven the random cruelty life can deal us. Not knowing your beliefs, if any, I can only extend my favorite benediction to you, "May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you his peace." (Numbers 6: 24-26)

peter hoh said...

Laura, so it's not sexism if the target of the invective has written self-justifying hoohah?

Somehow, I'm not buying it. Loh has been excoriated in this thread in a way that I've never seen when the topic of a thread is some cheating man -- politician, celebrity, or otherwise.

Y said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Y said...

Good riddance. She owns a Fabio cardboard cutout.

lucid said...

I think that what so many are objecting to here is really the emotional tone of the woman's presentation of her marriage, affair, and divorce. The affective tone and the superficiality (including the superficiality of her advice) is more appropriate to going shopping ("Remember to bag your purchases neatly!"
) than to ending a long relationship and hurting her children. Narcissism is the psychological disease of our age, not least because of the decline of institutions and communities.

I am a clinical psychologist working and living in NYC. I have seen many couples and have seen many extramarital affairs. The stories are always complicated and very individual. But there are some themes that have seemed apparent to me in my experience:

--having an affair makes a very different set of demands than having a longstanding, primary relationship;
--very, very few affairs become primary relationships of any duration;
--men tend to find it easier to have an affair and maintain their primary relationship at the same time; women have more difficulty doing this and so tend to force the issue of the marriage;
--human beings are a moderately monogamous species; thus, if our monogamy or our spouse's monogamy is very important to us, it needs to be actively guarded and conserved;
--when someone strays in a marriage, it often has something to do with both partners.

Finally, in defense of my profession, which I love, let me say that if your experience of counseling has been of wounds being picked at, then you have been badly counseled; and good therapy does not favor divorce or separation; it favors increased vitality in living and in relationships, whatever that may mean in particular circumstances.

peter hoh said...

Recommended reading on the topic of marriage, culture, and therapy.

Most of us are now free to walk away from our marital commitments more easily than from any other contract in our lives. We can always get a divorce. And we suffer relatively social stigma for doing so. But now we face the prospect of losing our ability to sustain any commitment at all. We have cut through our marital chains but ended up with Velcro. Easy to pull apart, but not strong enough to hold us together under pressure.

Mom of two said...

No matter why people get divorced there are always these notions that somehow one partner is a saint and the other a sinner. My friends and former friends either see me as the wronged partner, or the selfish bitch. And few know anything about the interior of the marriage. I would never have chosen to be divorced; I didn't sit down at the beginning of the marriage and think, wow, one day I can plan my divorce.

This absolutely sucks. I look at people in long-term marriages with envy. I worked hard to stay married to a nasty man who took his problems out on me. I thought maybe if I worked harder at marriage, it would be OK. Sometimes that isn't the case.

I hesitate to judge the writer here. She wrote a magazine piece, and I suspect there's more to the story than she is letting on. Most people would not have admitted the affair at all, and certainly not in a public way.

Ann, I am THRILLED for you. I've read about you and Meade with joy and hope. Maybe something like this will happen to me.

meanwhile, I just have to keep raising my kids and building a new and better life.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"Laura, so it's not sexism if the target of the invective has written self-justifying hoohah?"

Correct, if the invective is about the hoohah and the hoohah-writer. If Newt has written a self-justifying article or blog post about his reasons for abandoning his vows, bring it on. Otherwise we don't have material to work with.